Stretching from just north of Oxford Street to Paddington Station and London Zoo, Marylebone is the inner London district everybody needs to know. It's also one of the capital's oldest: according to the Doomsday Book, the area was populated by 1066. At its heart runs Marylebone Village: voted 'best street in London' and described as the 'hidden wonder of the West End,' it's one of London's most cherished shopping locales, where there's something to discover in every sense.
Weekends are built for gourmet explorations in this neighbourhood. Cabbages and Frocks by foodie fashionista Angela Cash is held in the grounds of Marylebone Parish Church each Saturday, while the Sunday Farmers' Market, a riot of colour, scent and chatter, has put the district firmly on the London food map.
Moxon Street is home to the gourmet delicatessen La Fromagerie as well as Le Vieux Comptoir, a fascinating epicurean hub from leading wine merchants. If meat if your thing then butchery classes at the nose-to-tail pioneer Ginger Pig is a must. Elsewhere, be sure to check out Divertimenti cookery school.
Making a meal of it? Don't miss the unbookable, menu-less and always queue-heavy Le Relais de Venise, cult two-year pop-up Roganic, the rooftop terrace and views from Orrery, fine dining at L'Autre Pied, or sensational south Indian cooking at Trishna.
Marylebone is interiors heaven – a visit to the Conran Shop, with its array of must-have gifts and furniture showroom 'The Apartment' is essential. Elsewhere, you'll find the luxe furnishings of Designer's Guild, Japanese ceramics and curiosities at Gallery Eclectic (there's also a tea counter should you wish to people watch), the Brit-kitsch of Cath Kidston, the Edwardian interiors of Daunt Books and the flagship Monocle Shop, where you can leaf through the entire library and get your hands on some impeccably designed boys' toys and garments.
Each Sunday, you can listen to the choral performances at Marylebone Parish Church (which lends its name to the locale). Should you fancy taking something home, Gallery Eclectic and the Conran Shop have handpicked selections of sounds, while nearby Chiltern Street reveals shops selling incredible instruments.
Marylebone Village is olfactory heaven, being home to the UK flagships of perfume boutique-cum-scent laboratory Le Labo – pick one of the 12 master perfumier's scents to be distilled in under ten minutes and personalised with your name – and US beauty brand Fresh, alongside boutiques from Diptyque, Ortigia and Aesop.
Every October this neighbourhood plays host to Frieze London, the UK's most important fair for contemporary art. The action takes place in Regents Park, with over 170 art galliers plus specially commissioned artists' projects, talks and education.